“Some may not approve of the life my Dad chose, but my father was not a liar,” the California native, 30, tweeted on Sunday, January 23. “However unconventional, he was sincere in his approach and lived honestly. He was generous in nature and cared deeply for people. These salacious stories are a case study of regret becoming revenge.”
The media mogul’s complicated legacy is the subject of the new series, which premieres on Monday, January 24. The show features interviews with former associates and ex-girlfriends of the Playboy founder, who died in 2017 at age 91.
In a sneak peek of the show released last week, Holly Madison described the atmosphere at the Playboy Mansion as “cult-like.” The Vegas Diaries author, 42, lived there from 2001 to 2008 while she was dating Hugh and has frequently opened up about the less glamorous aspects of the environment in the past.
“The reason I think the mansion was very cult-like, looking back on it, is because we were all kind of gaslit and expected to think of Hef as, like, this really good guy,” the Holly’s World alum said in the preview. “You started to feel like, ‘Oh, he’s not what they say in the media — he’s just a nice man.’”
The model went on to add that she initially kept her waitressing job when she first moved into the mansion, but she claimed that her ex didn’t want her working outside the house — even one day a week.
“He said it made him jealous, and he would appreciate it if I quit my job,” Madison explained. “So, instead, we were given $1,000 a week as an allowance.”
After the video appeared online, Playboy released a statement supporting the Girls Next Door alum’s claims. “Today’s Playboy is not Hugh Hefner’s Playboy,” the magazine said on Thursday, January 20. “We trust and validate these women and their stories and we strongly support those individuals who have come forward to share their experiences.”
In addition to Madison, Secrets of Playboy also includes interviews with Bridget Marquardt, who appeared on The Girls Next Door, and Sondra Theodore, who dated Hugh from 1976 to 1981.
Ahead of the docuseries’ release, another former girlfriend of the Chicago native defended the late entrepreneur. “For me, I have a real fond love for Hef, he was a wonderful person,” Brande Roderick said during a Friday, January 21, appearance on Banfield. “He was just so graceful, which is something you don’t see a lot of times from celebrities in Hollywood.”
Secrets of Playboy premieres on A&E Monday, January 24, at 9 p.m. ET.
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